The Effects of Anthropomorphism and Personalization in the Context of Conversational Advertising

Stefani Konstanta

Student thesis: Master thesis


Conversational advertising is a promising advertising format thanks to consumer tracking, big data, and machine learning. Their ability to respond intelligently, analyze patterns to decide when to advertise and what leaving marketers with a tremendous opportunity to reach and engage customers on a one-on-one basis at scale. Marketing academics and practitioners look into investigating various com-munication styles and functionality design in order to improve performance. Firms use consumers’ personal data to provide personalized offers, but that increases consumers’ privacy concerns. A common practice in the field of advertising and human-computer interaction is to imbue human-like characteristics to non-human entities. Previous studies have shown that anthropomorphism of a chatbot leads to lower privacy concerns. This study investigates the extent to which conver-sational advertisements with human-like cues that are personalized can influence advertising outcomes. Using a 2×2 survey-based experiment (N=164), the un-derlying hypotheses are tested through quantitative analysis. Findings indicate that the anthropomorphic design of a conversational advertisement may have ad-verse effects through the mediation mechanism of privacy concerns. Thus it is not possible to prove it is moderating the relationship between personalization and privacy as initially expected. Our findings hold valuable practical and theoretical implications, as well as relevant suggestions for future research.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages66
SupervisorsThomas W. Frick